It’s January and we all know what that means. Time to deal with those pounds most of us seem to have collected during December thanks to chocolate gift boxes, turkey feasts and too much champagne. We began the year on our blog with our homemade vanilla marshmallows recipe because well why not? Those first few days of the new year are cold (where we live anyway) so something sweet in a piping hot drink is well-deserved. Now, however, it’s time to get serious… or at least think about it. That’s why we concocted this tasty little loaf recipe packed with three super healthy ingredients – carrots, pistachios and pomegranates!
Note: Our recipe contains butter, but you can opt for a margarine that specifically states it is ideal for baking. Margarine contains a higher water percentage which can effect a bake so look for the appropriate type. Also, yes this loaf also uses sugar. We definitely wouldn’t advise swapping sugar for sweeteners. This would effect the bake too AND many sweeteners can have a laxative effect. If you want to reduce the sugar just leave off the pomegranate icing. Moderation is key here. Healthy is not about avoiding everything deemed bad for you or you’d go crazy and end up at the McDonald’s drive-through at midnight.
For a super quick look at what’s so great about the trio of healthy elements we based our recipe around…
– Great source of antioxidants and rich in vitamin A, C, K, B8, Pantothenic Acid, Folate, Copper, Potassium and Iron!
– Good for weight management, hypertension, helps keep your heart healthy and can even help prevent diabetes!
– Contains high levels of antioxidants that can help protect against cancer and heart disease!
Carrot, Pistachio and Pomegranate Loaf recipe
- 200g self-raising flour
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 140g butter or margarine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons milk (you can use normal, semi or fully skimmed milk)
- 60g grated carrot
- 40g roughly chopped pistachios (plus extra to decorate)
- 1 pomegranate
- sieved icing sugar
Pre-heat your oven to 180c / 160c fan / gas mark 4 / 350f whilst coating your loaf tin with butter or even margarine. You can use cake release spray or even piece of parchment paper to line your loaf or cake pan if you wish.
Take your milk, eggs, flour, butter, sugar, pistachios, baking powder and grated carrots and add them to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand-up mixer. Incorporate all of these ingredients together for around 3 minutes until mixed well.
Spoon your loaf mix into your buttered or lined loaf tin and smooth the top over with a palette knife. You should find the mix reach a little under the top edge of your loaf tin. If you happen to be using a smaller pan make sure you don’t use all the mix and end up over filling!
Place in the oven and bake for approximately 40-50 minutes until a lovely shade of golden brown and firm to the touch. You can also test to see if it’s ready by inserting a knife or cake tester into the centre. If it comes out clean then your loaf is done! Leave to cool down. We know that’s hard, but you have a glaze to make whilst you wait.
Tip! Using a marble pastry cooling slab is a great way to help your baking cool down faster! We even use them for photoshoots – they’re that versatile and chic too.
To make your pomegranate glaze all you need is sieved icing sugar and pomegranate juice. That’s it! Can you believe that the beautiful pink glaze on the loaf we made contains no food colouring? That gorgeous pink is the work of the humble pomegranate! Mix your icing sugar with a little bit of the juice at a time until you have a glaze the consistency or runny honey. It’s as easy as that.
Once your loaf is completely cool you can carefully pour your pink pomegranate glaze over the top. This is probably one of the most fun parts… after eating it that is.
To make sure your glaze is nice and even use a palette knife to smooth it around the top of your freshly baked loaf. If you want your glaze to drip luxuriously down the sides (which we love) push the glaze out to the edges a little and gravity should do the rest!
Add some extra texture and taste to this Carrot, Pistachio and Pomegranate Loaf recipe with a generous sprinkle of left over roughly chopped pistachios. They add a really crisp fresh green colour as well a great crunchy texture when it comes to devouring this healthy little beauty.
Then add a few spoonfuls of pomegranate seeds on top. They’re such an amazingly bright ruby colour. No wonder they’re often featured as edible ‘jewels’ in lots of tasty cooking recipes!
Hurrah! You should be left one attractive treat that also packs in some great healthy ingredients; perfect for January when your body needs an escape from rich gravy sauces, brandy cream and greasy pigs in blankets. If you want to cut down on the sugar then leave out the pomegranate glaze, but remember still topple your loaf with tasty pistachios and pomegranates.
We enjoyed ours on a lovely rainy and blustery day (yes we’re those people… we love stormy weather) with cups of hot Fortnum & Mason’s Earl Grey tea, but you could up the health factor with a calming herbal Camomile tea, iced lemon water or a great big mug of hot cocoa with whipped cream (to balance the health factor or the loaf out maybe?). You could even finish half the loaf by yourself too. We don’t judge.
Not surprisingly… a few hours after shooting our Carrot, Pistachio and Pomegranate Loaf recipe (as we typed, edited and Lightroom-ed our way through this post) slices were sneakily being devoured. Could we count the ingredients as part of our 5 a day?